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SIX YEAR OLD ME WAS BETTER AT WRITING SONGS THAN EVERY OTHER ME

HOW PERCEPTION OF ONE’S OWN SKILL INFLUENCES MAKING MUSIC

FOR YEARS I HAD BEEN PLAGUED WITH PERFECTIONISM

and still am as of today. Only my view has somewhat changed, about what I actually can put out into the world. The thing that kept me from actually writing songs AND putting them out to the public wasn’t so much the fact, I couldn’t write songs, to begin with, because, let’s face it, pretty much anyone can write a song. It doesn’t even have to rhyme. Just write down a few words and pick a totally random sequence of frequencies or pitches, one after the other and

PUT OUT CRAP

just like this little song here. The first song I ever wrote at age 5 or 6, after I learned my first few chords from my grandfather. It’s german and translates to: “shipping at the sea”, and the

MY FIRST EVER SONG

NEXT FOLLOWED SOON

Little me also was the mastermind behind hits like “Vui Glück fürs Neie Jahr” or “Gezeitenwandel”. It was fun to write and play these songs. It made playing guitar actually fun. And also singing. Since I had to sing these songs. What I am realizing right now, about 20 years later, about the craft of producing songs and what made 6 year old me so good in comparison to all the mes coming after 6 year old me was this:

6 YEAR OLD ME JUST DIDN’T CARE

And also everybody of course applauded my newfound talent. And this encouragement mainly coming from family probably played a huge role in actually keeping me hooked on playing the guitar all these years. Because I, for the

FIRST YEARS HATED PLAYING GUITAR

The guitar was the first instrument I learned. And it sucked. It basically took until year three or even four when my brain finally began to automate things after years of concentration when practicing.

BUT BACK TO NOW

Or rather the last years. See, there was this problem. On the one hand, guitar and also singing were fun. Friends and family all these years were basically like

KEEP IT UP, DUDE, THIS IS GOOD!

Only one problem. Maybe because I heard it all these years. But probably mostly because my perception was totally different from that encouragement:

I DIDN’T BELIEVE THEM AT ALL

Basically, every performance I ever had, had in my eyes been a complete disaster. And this probably already touches the most vulnerable point of being a musician. One that performs. And almost everybody wants to, I guess. Some just don’t think they are

GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE WORLD

The problem is this: Nobody really knows whether a performance of yours or mine was really a total disaster. And nobody will ever really find out. There is this thing called the

DUNNING KRUEGER EFFECT

stating: the better you get at something, the more you realize how unskilled you are. And in reverse: unskilled people

THINK THEY GOT TALENT

So there never comes a point where you are like: Well: Now

MY MUSIC IS THE SHIT!

NO MUSICIAN EVER

And if you think you reached that point, think twice, cause chances are

YOU ARE STILL UNSKILLED

And therefore not the one to judge your own music. But this creates a paradox. The paradox of: never thinking or being allowed to think of your music as something good. Something great. As a

FRIEND OF MINE STARTED WRITING SONGS

After I had quit for years. Because all the Me’s after five-year-old-me were like: these early songs are crap. If I would write a song now, then I would approach it completely differently. But this led to, you guessed it

ME NOT WRITING SONGS

Until a friend of mine started writing songs. And in a break at school showed me some of these recordings. On his crappy iPhone. But still. This dude just had done and still is doing the thing I had avoided for years. I had tried to for years. Writing your own music. Instead of playing somebody’s else’s songs

LIKE A DUMB PLAYBACK MONKEY

And he showed me his songs. And is still showing them to other people and to the world. His name is Paul and here is his Spotify, releasing songs here and there. And actually making it onto classic radiostations in our region.

https://paulkowol.de/

BACK TO MAKING MUSIC

I still avoided writing songs, my own songs. Even after I had seen, that such a thing was indeed something entirely possible. So, finally, I started to take a sheet of paper,

AND WROTE SOME LYRICS

And wrote my first “new song” into a notebook, it was and still is called “Nowhere”. But there still was this other problem, I

COULND’T REALLY SING

And it’s the same these days. Whenever I stop practising for few days or weeks, my ability to actually hit the right notes dissappears. And that’s not the best feeling ever. So,

BETTER KEEP PRACTISING

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